Saturday, March 04, 2023

How To Be Bought

If you want to know how things work in Ontario, consider this piece from The Toronto Star:

Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives have quietly held the largest political fundraiser in Canadian history, bringing in a staggering $6 million.

Quietly, because even though more than 4,000 people paid $1,500 apiece to attend Thursday’s sold-out event at the Toronto Congress Centre in Etobicoke, it was closed to the media.

Under previous Progressive Conservative, Liberal and NDP premiers, such partisan fundraising events were open to the media, but Ford’s office controversially ended that tradition in 2019.

That was after the Star had revealed four years ago that lobbyists had been enlisted to sell tickets.

And consider who attended the event:

Attendees on Thursday night, speaking confidentially in order to freely discuss what they saw, said it was a coterie of elected officials, lobbyists, developers, union leaders, political staffers, lawyers and assorted other hangers-on.

Among those guests mentioned by Ford in his campaign-style speech were former premier Mike Harris, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, Peel Region chair Nando Iannicca and York Region chair Wayne Emmerson.

“Wow, what a room, what a crowd. The energy in here is absolutely amazing. I’m told that we have over 4,000 people here tonight. It’s truly remarkable — and make no mistake, this is a dinner to celebrate all of Ontario,” the premier told the assembled throng.

Pointing to his June 2 re-election, Ford emphasized to supporters that the Tories are a much larger political coalition than they have been in decades.

It's also worth remembering that Ford refused to testify before the Rouleau Commission.

Doug Ford knows how to sell -- and how to be bought.

Image: The Toronto Star


Cap said...

I'm assuming the mayors who attended didn't come alone. In fact, they probably bought a table that seats eight, as is customary at these events. So, what are the ethics of using municipal funds for partisan political purposes? Especially when municipalities are creatures of the provincial government.

Owen Gray said...

The event is Exhibit A, underscoring how rotten our politics have become, Cap.

zoombats said...

"and make no mistake, this is a dinner to celebrate all of Ontario,” the premier told the assembled throng". Except the media and those that rely on them to have an idea of what is going on with the rest of us who can barely afford a cheesburger let alone a $1,500.00 plate. Crooks and liars that know no shame. It makes my head hurt.

Owen Gray said...

That's precisely the point, zoombats. They know no shame.